Leinster ‘A’ to face Rotherham in B&I Cup quarter-finals
December 15, 2014 12:00 am Richard Blake
Two Irish provinces, five English Championship sides and one Welsh Principality club will compete in the quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup on January 23-25.
Following the conclusion of the pool stages over the weekend, the draw for the British & Irish Cup quarter-finals took place today.
Leinster ‘A’ remain on course to retain the trophy for a third consecutive year, but only if they can push past Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane. Girvan Dempsey’s men finished top of Pool 5 with 24 points, while the Titans also finished in pole position in Pool 2, securing home advantage with the last kick of the match in round 6.
A 59-26 victory over Plymouth Albion last Saturday gave the ‘A’ team the desired bonus point win, but resuklts elsewhere conspired against Dempsey’s men and they will once again have to go on the road to defend their title.
Having made a successful return to the professional second tier in September, Doncaster Knights will compete in the quarter-finals next month, facing 2012 winners Munster ‘A’ at Castle Park.
Doncaster are one of only three clubs to complete a clean sweep of wins in the pool stages, along with Bristol and Worcester.
Bristol and Yorkshire Carnegie will do battle in an all-English tie in a repeat of last year’s semi-final. As history shows, Carnegie won at the Memorial Stadium in 2013/14 and went on to compete in the British & Irish Cup final, losing out to Leinster ‘A’ at Donnybrook.
However, 2011 winners Bristol are yet to lose in any competition this season and will be eager to maintain that record as they welcome their Championship rivals to Ashton Gate in the New Year.
Like Bristol, Pontypridd’s British & Irish Cup final journey was cut short last year as the Welsh Principality outfit were knocked out of the competition in the semi-final stage.
In a thrilling game at Sardis Road, Leinster ‘A’ progressed to the final after a 22-all draw saw the visitors through with a greater try count. Ponty will be hoping to go one better this season, but will first need to fend off stiff competition from Worcester Warriors in the quarter-final.
BRITISH & IRISH CUP QUARTER-FINALS: January 23/24/25
Doncaster Knights v Munster ‘A’
Worcester Warriors v Pontypridd
Bristol v Yorkshire Carnegie
Rotherham Titans v LEINSTER ‘A’